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Our primary objectives focused on gathering the necessary data and insights to enable us to thoroughly understand how the processes employed at the various points-of-contact between buyers and sellers form the basis of the customer/supplier relationship and how that relationship impacts corporate performance and profitability. Listed below are those objectives.
The primary purpose of the research was to identify:
- Differences in characteristics of exceptional and unexceptional practices implemented at the various point-of-contact meetings by sales and purchasing professionals
- Differences in the characteristics of exceptional and unexceptional management practices associated with the sales and purchasing functions
- The methodologies and metrics necessary to determine the effectiveness of sales and purchasing efforts
- The skills, knowledge and experience that are necessary to produce outstanding results in the next decade and beyond in sales and purchasing functions
- Factors that inhibit positive change
- The extent to which existing educational programs deal with the factors identified as critical to success
- The changing demands of customers and their implications on the future of the sales and purchasing functions within various industries and organizations
- The extent to which critical performance factors may vary because of:
- Different industries
- Different environments, e.g., size, geographic location, management practices, corporate culture, communication systems, market position, etc.
- Different personal priorities
The Educational Objectives:
Based on our findings during data gathering and analysis, we developed a set of educational objectives to specifically address the issues identified as critical for improving the Enterprise-to-Enterprise relationship and overall supply-chain performance.
- Develop sales and purchasing point-of-contact processes based on the Exceptional Practices identified in the research. The processes will be so specific that those charged with purchasing and new-business development will be able to match their actions to those of the Exceptional Practices, enabling them to consistently adjust and fine-tune their processes to continuously improve performance.
- Develop more effective processes for: understanding customer needs; developing the Request for Proposal or Quote; selecting suppliers and managing the relationship to improve product quality; and enhancing performance to reduce the Total Cost (factors such as redesign, scrap, unscheduled downtime, warranty issues, etc.) for both the customer and supplier.
The outcome for organizations will be to:
- Significantly increase new business development results
- Establish the critical processes necessary for the effective training of all sales and sales management personnel
- Significantly decrease the "Total Cost" of doing business
- Establish the critical processes necessary for the effective training of all purchasing and purchasing management personnel
- Increase corporate profits and shareholder value
- Enhance organizational effectiveness